I offer today Exhibit A:
Now I know what some of you are thinking. Some of you may have even wondered it out loud, “Gosh, I didn’t realize Brad had been married so many times.” Seriously. It’s a wonder my own two children know who their momma is. These pictures might be the very reason Brad one time said, “I sometimes go to bed with a brunette and wake up with a blonde.” Poor man.
I titled this post “Cured of My Identity Crisis*,” and I want you to notice I carefully added an asterisk (*) at the end of the title. This familiar symbol is found anytime one wishes to add a disclaimer statement. I want to be certain that I don’t mislead any of you, so here goes. The fine print.
* The mere fact I have claimed to be cured of my identity crisis in no way indicates or guarantees my hair color, length, or style will remain the same for any amount of time.
Come on. Y’all know me better than that. I’m not about to keep the same hair. Where is the fun in that?! Besides I have a hair appointment next Friday with my hair genius, Heather.
Ok. Before I move on with what this post is really about, can I just say one more thing? Note the bottom right picture. The one that looks like I might have leprosy on my face. Look closely. It’s the hole punch so the page fits nicely in the cute little book I made for Brad for our 25th anniversary. Go ahead. Double-tap the picture and examine closely. Ok. And one more thing. The picture in the bottom left corner is another page from the same cute little book, but I wasn’t about to post the whole page. That page is from my 40th birthday trip to St. Lucia. Where not one soul knew me. And I might have maybe thought it would be okay to wear a bikini. A modest one. But still. I’m rethinking that now.
Here is Exhibit B.
It’s me! On my first day of school. Well, maybe I better clarify. On my first day of seminary. Yes, at 47 (although I am NOT the oldest one… thank you, Jesus!) I have returned for a fourth tour of duty at Baylor. I am positively certain they will name a building after me this time. Or maybe one brick.
Today I had Theology 7346: New Testament Greek 1 with Dr. Weaver. I worked for hours… literally… learning the Greek alphabet song so I could at least pretend to be impressive on the first day of class. Guess what? He didn’t even ask me to sing it. Not one letter.
I do have a point to this post. Not sure why I am rambling except I haven’t written to y’all in awhile and my brain might be all mush after an hour and a half in Greek class. And since I’ve now broken almost every rule about a good blog post, let me get on with what I really want to say.
All this back-to-school craziness coupled with Greek got me to thinking.
Y’all, my growing up years were not always pretty. Life handed me more than a few challenges, and I certainly took a few detours I’m not proud of. Heck, even after I got married, finished a college degree, had kids, became PTA president, held down respectable leadership positions, and really made an All-Star effort of making it all look good, I still didn’t have it all together. On the outside it was a pretty little package, but on the inside I was still a mess. An organized mess, but a mess nonetheless. I struggled with fear and constantly viewed who I was or wasn’t by comparing myself to someone else. I determined my worth based on the praise or lack of praise I received from others. Some of you are reading this, and since you’ve known me for a long time, you don’t believe it. But trust me, it’s true. Some of us are just way better at disguising our true identity than others. For me, my identity was Mom. Wife. Administrator. Believer. Play those roles as perfectly as possible and see if you can just trick yourself into believing you’re getting it all right. That you’re ok.
But you know what. I don’t have to pretend anymore. I know I don’t have it all together, and I never will. I know I’ll never be the perfect mom, wife, friend, or anything. I know I might nail it today and fail miserably tomorrow. I know my identity and my value is in Christ alone. I am nothing without Him. But with Him… I am loved. And beloved. And chosen. And an heir. And a daughter to the Most High King. It doesn’t matter what the devil tries to tempt me to believe. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. And it certainly does matter what color my hair is. Ok, that one was really just for a good laugh.
Galatians 4:9 tells us, “But now that you know God – or rather are known by God – how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?”
Sweet mercy, no! I know God… and more importantly I am known by God. My identity is fully and solely in Christ.
You might be suffering from an identity crisis if you’ve been
… letting someone else determine your value,
… reeling over the loss of a relationship,
… hating what you see in the mirror,
… feeling empty and purposeless,
… suffering in shame from past mistakes,
… hiding from who you really are,
… longing for life to be different,
… satisfying yourself with temporary happiness,
… aching for peace in the midst of rotten circumstances,
Today I encourage you to do just what I have to do daily. Remind yourself of who you really are. A precious child of God. That and that alone is your identity.
And these three things are what shape our identity…
Being Known By Him.
And Making Him Known to Others.
That’s your identity. That’s my identity. Today I just also happen to be a blonde. Who went back to school at age 47. Who wishes she didn’t have so many wrinkles. But mostly who prays God will use her mightily in His Kingdom.